Reviewed! As I Lay Dying - 'This Is Who We Are' DVD

As I Lay Dying
‘This Is Who We Are’ DVD
Metal Blade Records

Well, Metal Blade has done it again. Not only have they succeeded in releasing one of the best and most comprehensive music DVD’s ever in As I Lay Dying’s ‘This Is Who We Are,’ but they might even be able to rival it with another release they have in the Black Dahlia Murder’s ‘Majesty.’

Not only is As I Lay Dying one of the top two, if not the top, American metal band making music today (alongside Lamb of God) as evidenced by their musical body of work to date, but for their first foray into DVD land, the band hit a towering, tape measure home run. And for those who don’t follow baseball and its terminology, a tape measure home run is a very long one indeed. ‘This Is Who We Are’ is the finest DVD release from a band this year yet, and might even go the long run to DVD of the year. Yes, that is saying a lot seeing as a new Depeche Mode DVD will drop in June. It is easily the best DVD release from a metal band ever.

Yes, it is that good.

‘This Is Who We Are’ plays out like your basic music DVD release (back-story, live shows, videos), yet it is oh so much more. It is primarily dissected into three discs, the first being the complete history of the band, the second is live performances and the third is music videos, more live performances and other band tidbits and factoids.

The first disc, ‘This Is Who We Are...From the Beginning,’ and yes, that title is very literal. This DVD contains an extremely thorough history of the band as told by both current and former band members, as well as Metal Blade Record employees and the band past and present road crew. You will know this band inside and out after watching this DVD, and you will get a plethora of kick ass stories along the way. From the early days playing tiny stages and tiny tours, even before the band even had a name, all the way to as the band is currently; this disc will fill in all of the holes and answer all of the questions you might have.

Disc two (‘This Is Who We Are…Now’) is sort of the meat of this DVD sandwich. It houses 16 different live performances, from the performing all of ‘Frail Words Collapse’ (‘Falling Upon Deaf Ears’ and ‘Forever’ are on the DVD) in front of a select few from the Seacoast Community Church, to performing all of ‘Shadows Are Security’ at the bands hometown venue, the Jumping Turtle (‘Meaning in Tragedy’ and the Darkest Nights’). There are performances from the Grove of Anaheim when the band played ‘An Ocean Between Us’ and even some overseas performances finding the band at the Wacken Open Air festival (‘Through Struggle,’ ‘Confined’) and the With Full Force festival (‘Reflection’). This is the disc that will make you appreciate being a fan of this band.

The set wraps up with the final disc, which is complete with all of the bands’ music videos as well as two more live songs. Also on this disc you will find the band explaining some things about themselves, including the meaning behind the band name, what they do for entertainment, a dive into the psyche of each and every band member as also some snapshots and stories from the band as they traveled overseas.

Honestly, if you ever had a question about As I Lay Dying, no matter how big or small, ‘This Is Who We Are’ will answer it and then some. Just when you thought these guys couldn’t get any better, they had to go and release this DVD. If you were thinking they just released great records, think again, they also release amazing DVDs.

Grade: A